With a big `puff` I put my backpack on the sight of the road. Three policemen curiously observe my actions from behind their pilot-worthy-sunglasses. With their hands in their pockets they casually lean against their massive police 4x4. Their curiosity reveals their happiness that there`s finally something happening at the gas station of the sleepy little, rural town of Daireaux. A small country town that, besides a notification on google maps, won`t receive a lot more fame. A little than 30 minutes before, we had been dropped off here by an overfriendly truck driver. He was out of the world excited that he finally met other hitchhikers on the route 65 than his local neighbours.
Pablo drops us of at the border. To get back north, we have to travel via Chile. As always, he greets everybody on his way with a warm embrace and a short chat. For a short moment I think he must know almost everybody in Argentina. We get our passports stamped, while Pablo catches up with all his friends at the border crossing. Now the time truly comes to say goodbye to our special and endearing friend. “Saturday I`ll fly to my house in Buenos Aires. I`ll wait for you there with my wife, children and grandchildren.” We promise him to make it to Buenos Aires and say our farewells with a tear and a smile.
“Pablo! Pablo, mi amor, how are you doing?” So happy to see our old friend again, I don`t even give myself the time to pull off my backpack. Filled with enthusiasm I run over to his desk and give him a warm hug. As always Pablo has a big smile on his face matching his calming karma which could easily beat the brightness of the Dalai Lama or Nelson Mandela. Grant follows me and gives Pablo a hand. Pablo, a short, balding man stands in between us. “How were your travels in Ushuaia?” He asks while he looks up into our eyes. “Ow Pablo it was amazing! Unbelievable, the nature, everything. Absolutely mind-blowing.” Pablo gives us a gentle stroke over the shoulder. “Please take a seat my friends. I`ll make some mate and then I want to hear everything about your adventures.”
After a burn-out it was time for a change. I quit my job, sold my stuff and bought a one-way ticket to the Dominican Republic. What was supposed to be a 4 month adventure turned into 2,5 years and counting......
Photo by: Vanessa Marques Barreto